Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice

Committee Member

Dr. William Haller, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Chair Dr. Sarah Winslow

Committee Member

Dr. Victoria Prieto Rosas


This study examines the association between long work hours and health status of Korean workers. Korea has atypically long weekly working hours, which raises concerns about workers’ health. To explore the impact of long work hours, I analyzed data from the 4th Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS) conducted by Korean Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) in 2014. This survey collected data on various characteristics of a nationally representative sample of 50,000 economically active workers. KWCS aimed to estimate several parameters of the working population in Korea, including demographic characteristics, exposure to hazards, and health problems among workers aged 15 and older. In this study, the dependent variable, subjective health status, is an ordinal-level variable rated on a 5-point scale. Korean workers are known as one of the hardest working people in the world. Still, from the analysis form the KWCS in 2014, nearly half of Koreans (44.5%) work more than 48 hours a week. This study also revealed that long work hours have an adverse effect on health in Korean society. Working overtime has negative effect on workers’ health after controlling several workers’ characteristics. Working excessive overtime has an even stronger negative effect on self-rated health than working overtime. Surprisingly, contrary to our expectation, the adverse effect of overtime work on health is stronger for men than for women.